• ABEC Staff

  • Dick_Foreman

    Dick Foreman
    President & CEO
    (602) 264-8229
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    Dick Foreman brings to ABEC unprecedented knowledge, expertise and credibility that he has built during his much accomplished 37-year career in public affairs and in developing public policy.  He also brings to ABEC a wide array of experiences while serving on business, education, and community governing and advisory boards throughout his career. His passion, however, is and always has been public education. 

    After 27 years, Dick left a very successful career with Southwest Gas Corporation where he was the Director of Corporate Public Affairs for what he calls his “dream job,” to lead ABEC.  At Southwest Gas, he was responsible for state and federal legislative affairs, special corporate and regulatory initiatives, franchise negotiations, state and municipal relations, and consumer and community affairs.  Prior to Southwest Gas, he led the state legislative affairs for Salt River Project and also served as a research analyst for the Arizona House of Representatives, where he began his career in public policy.  Throughout his distinguished career, Dick has created professional relationships with countless elected officials as well as business and civic leaders at the local, state and national level.

    No stranger to education, Dick served ten years as a governing board member for the Tempe Union High School District and also served on the school boards of two charter schools – Tempe Preparatory Academy and Great Hearts Academies.  He understands that Arizona public schools need resources, and as such, has chaired/co-chaired eleven public school finance campaign initiatives (i.e. school bonds, M&O overrides) over the span of 25 years.

    He is also an active leader in the business community, having served on the boards of the Arizona Tax Research Association and its Foundation, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry and its Foundation, and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.  He is a proven leader, respected by the business and education communities alike.

    Dick graduated twice magna cum laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Master of Public Administration degree.  In his spare time, he is a community and contributing columnist for several local newspapers and has even authored and published a contemporary Western novel, “A Distant Fire.”  He enjoys basketball, writing children's short stories, hiking the White Mountains of Greer, Arizona and exploring the coastline of Oregon with his wife Kate, three children, four grandchildren, and one GREAT grandchild!

  • Patrick Contrades photo

    Patrick Contrades

    Vice President
    (602) 264-8426
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    Along with his strong passion for education, Patrick brings to ABEC a wealth of experience and expertise in college admissions, financial aid and student loan programs. His strong project management skills, research abilities, and community outreach experience are also a welcome addition to ABEC. He joined ABEC in May 2007.

    Before joining ABEC, Patrick served as the senior manager of product management and outreach initiatives for Southwest Student Services Corporation, a subsidiary of Sallie Mae. While there, he built a reputation among the high school counseling community as being a key resource for financial aid information and has presented at numerous financial programs throughout Arizona.

    Patrick also brings to ABEC more than 15 years of experience as a higher education administrator. He served as the director of enrollment services at Woodbury University (Burbank, CA) and has held enrollment management positions at Whittier College (Whittier, CA) and Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, CA).
    Patrick has been a member of numerous professional education associations and has volunteered to serve in various leadership positions, which includes: the inaugural chair for the Greater Phoenix National College Fair; a mentor for the National Association of Asian American Professionals - Phoenix Chapter (now known as ACEL); a member and inaugural co-chair of the University of Arizona President's Asian Pacific American Advisory Council; and, a member of the task force committee for ASU Preparatory Academy, charged with creating the high school. In addition, Patrick recently was appointed to a third, four-year term on the Northwest Maricopa Regional Partnership Council for First Things First.

    Patrick is a graduate of Brophy College Preparatory and Loyola Marymount University (CA) where he received his B.B.A. degree with an emphasis in marketing and management.  He and his family first moved to Arizona in 1972.

  • Karen Kehlenbach photo

    Karen Kehlenbach
    Operations Manager
    (602) 264-8396
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    Karen joined ABEC in March 2007. She brings to ABEC extensive experience in the information technology and customer service industries.

    Karen's professional expertise focused on project development and management of business applications for large corporations including Federal Express, Schering-Plough, American Express, and Motorola. She has received numerous awards from her employers for bringing outstanding integrity, dedication, and excellence to her work in both project management and customer service.

    Along with her valued knowledge of the business sector, Karen brings much professionalism to her position with her excellent organizational and event coordination skills, impeccable attention to detail, clarity in direction, and great customer service.